The Supreme Court on Friday declared the elongated tenure of five governors illegal and consequently sacked them.
The governors are Ibrahim Idris (Kogi); Murtala Nyako (Adamawa); Timipre Sylva(Bayelsa); Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto); and Liyel Imoke (Cross River).
They are all governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.
The landmark decision was taken by a panel led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Musdapher. Others on the panel are Justice Mahmud Mukhtar, Walter Onnonghen, Chukwuma Ene, Ibrahim Coomasie, Olufunlola Adekeye and Mary Peter-Odili.
Justice Onnoghen, who read the judgement, said the tenure of the governors elapsed on May 29, 2011 as the oath of office they took on May 29, 2007 remained valid.
“”The oath they took in 2007 remains valid. To accede to the request of respondents (governors) is to bring uncertainty to the constitution. It is to continue the cycle of impunity,” he said.
The judgment was in respect of an appeal by the governorship candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change in Adamawa State, Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa (retd.) and the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The court said nobody elected under the 1999 Constitution can remain in office beyond four years in a term.
Wammako, Imoke and Nyako are currently holding their party’s tickets to run for a second term in their respective states while Sylva is battling to upturn the PDP’s choice of Mr. Dickson Seriake as its governorship candidate.
Idris has already concluded his second term and vacated office on Friday, for a new governor and deputy to be sworn in.
More details later.